Prime Minister Narendra Modi is chairing an all-party meeting to discuss Covid-19 pandemic and related challenges, including vaccine rollout and post-Covid India. Floor leaders of both Houses of Parliament have been invited for the virtual meeting.
Union ministers Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh and Harsh Vardhan are also present in the meeting. Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Ghulam Nabi Azad, TMC leader Derek O’Brien, DMK leader T R Baalu, NCP patron Sharad Pawar and party leaders from other political parties are participating in the virtual meeting. The meeting comes close on the heels of the Prime Minister’s visits to Covid vaccine hubs in India.
India is looking to be self-reliant in both development and production of Corona vaccine. While at least five pharmaceutical companies of India are engaged in vaccine development, Serum Institute in Pune has been chosen for mass production of Covishield developed by Oxford-Astra Zeneca.
The Centre has initiated a robust vaccine manufacturing and delivery ecosystem to meet the demand. Government has already announced a stimulus package of 900 crore rupees for “Mission Covid Suraksha” to promote indigenous vaccine development. This grant will go to the Department of Biotechnology for Research and Development of Indian Covid-19 vaccines and ensure that they are fast-tracked for introduction in public health systems, subject to regulatory clearances.